‘I Can Give You the Names of Those Responsible’ – Interview with a Colombian Human Rights Activist

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Justice for Colombia recently conducted the following interview with a human rights activist who works closely with the trade union movement in the Colombian department of Meta. The person involved, known here as Jorge, requested that his true identity be not be revealed for fear that he would be read more

Further Delays to Hostage Release after President Uribe Refuses to Meet Facilitator

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A proposed release of six hostages by the FARC guerrilla group has been delayed by the refusal of the Colombian President to meet with the Senator who is brokering the deal; though civil society leaders, whose dialogue with the rebels led to the commitment to release the six, say they read more

Multinationals Violating Labour Rights in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 29 December 2008

A company owned by a consortium of multinational mining companies involved in the Colombian coal industry is violating trade union rights and ILO core labour standards according to the Colombian trade union SINTRAIME. The union says that the management of FENOCO, which is 65% owned by Drummond Coal Mining read more

Colombia's Female Political Prisoners Speak Out

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 28 December 2008

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of political prisoners being held in Colombia's jails – people imprisoned for their opposition to the Colombian regime. In November the Colombian Senate held a special hearing to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which included a session documenting read more

Five Killed by Suspected Guerrillas in Christmas Day Massacre

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 26 December 2008

A 15-year-old girl was among five people massacred on Christmas Day in the conflict-ridden Colombian region of Arauca according to local press reports. A pregnant woman was also wounded in the attack which occurred as the victims were driving to a family holiday home near the town of Arauquita. read more

Colombian State Found Guilty of Killing Lawyer

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 25 December 2008

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Colombian State was responsible for the murder of human rights lawyer Jesus Maria Valle Jaramillo – who was investigating the infamous 'El Aro' massacre, in which current Colombian President, Alvaro Uribe Velez, is alleged to have been involved. The read more

Ecuador President Calls on Obama to End US Military Aid to Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Ecuador's leftwing President Rafael Correa has called on US President-elect Barack Obama to "put an end to Plan Colombia", the multi-billion dollar US military aid package to Colombia, saying that it has "only turned Colombia into a hotbed of instability in the region". Ecuador has still not restored diplomatic read more

Army Murders Teenager in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 22 December 2008

Troops of the Colombia Army have shot and killed 17-year-old Rusber Alexander Castro Lopez in the latest in a series of extra-judicial executions. The murder follows accusations last month by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that the Colombian military are carrying out "widespread and systematic" killings of read more

Colombian Government Creates Obstacle to Hostage Release

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 22 December 2008

The Colombian Government has responded to yesterday's announcement that the FARC guerrilla group are to free six hostages by announcing that they will not permit any foreign involvement in the release. It is unknown if such a move will sabotage the initiative, though five previous releases in January and read more

Trade Unionist Shot Dead

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 21 December 2008

In the latest attack on the Colombian trade union movement a leading member of SINTRAMBIENTE, which represents employees of the national environmental institution, has been murdered when two men shot him in the head as he left his home in the town of Santander de Quilichao in Cauca department. read more

Peace Efforts Advance as FARC Announce Hostage Release in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 21 December 2008

Efforts by Colombian civil society representatives to help find a solution to Colombia's conflict appear to have partially paid off yesterday after the FARC guerrilla group announced that they would release six hostages as a goodwill gesture. The six will include the two remaining politicians being held hostage by read more

At Least 11 Killed by Paramilitaries in Northern Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 19 December 2008

Paramilitary death squads have killed at least 11 people during a rampage through the northern Colombian region of Cordoba – a department that has now seen over 500 murders so far this year. The dead included a local teacher and a shopkeeper, whilst a 3-year-old girl was also severely read more

Army Murders Husband of Indigenous Leader

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 18 December 2008

The husband of one of Colombia's most high profile indigenous leaders was assassinated on Tuesday by soldiers in the latest in a series of killings of indigenous people by the Colombian Army. Edwin Legarda was shot dead as his wife, Ayda Quilcue, travelled back from Geneva, Switzerland, where she read more

Latin American Indigenous Groups Call for Colombian President to be Tried for Genocide

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 17 December 2008

A coalition of indigenous organisations from all over Latin America has called for Colombian president Alvaro Uribe Velez to be put on trial for what they describe as the "genocide" that he has perpetrated against indigenous people. The groups, representing indigenous people in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and read more

Human Rights Defender Decapitated

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 16 December 2008

A leading human rights activist and former local councillor for the 'Democratic Pole' opposition political party has been murdered in southern Colombia in what is believed to be the latest extra-judicial execution by the Colombian Army. Joel Perez Cardenas, who lived in the town of San Vicente del Caguan, read more

European Union Rewards Colombia for Trade Union Rights Record!

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 16 December 2008

In what campaigners have described as an 'outrageous decision', the European Union yesterday decided to reward Colombia with favourable trade preferences in return for the country's supposedly good record on trade union and human rights. "It goes against all logic for the EU to reward a country where they read more

Two Indigenous People Executed in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 15 December 2008

Two indigenous people have been murdered in brutal attacks by paramilitaries in Colombia. In one attack, in the northern department of La Guajira, the brother of a senior indigenous leader was found beaten, tortured, stabbed and with his eyes removed. Miguel Angel Ospina Boscan, a member of the read more

Dirty Money: EU-Colombia Trade

Justice For Colombia News | on: Sunday, 14 December 2008

In an article today for The Guardian David Cronin argues that it is shameful that the EU is so willing to overlook Colombia's deteriorating human rights situation in order to strike trade agreements. Visit the Guardian website to read the full article. read more

BBC: Colombian Government Statistics ‘Unbelievable’

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 13 December 2008

A report by the BBC has highlighted accusations that figures being provided by the Colombian Government are manipulated and 'vastly exaggerated'. The report specifically draws attention to claims by the Colombian military that over 114,000 guerrillas and paramilitaries have been killed, captured or surrendered in the past six years. read more

New Colombia Video

News from Colombia | on: Thursday, 11 December 2008

US group Witness for Peace has produced an excellent and very moving short film on the extrajudicial executions being carried out by the Colombian Army. The video is part of their campaign to freeze US military aid to Colombia but could just as easily be applied to the UK. read more

LGBT Activist Threatened by Paramilitaries

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 10 December 2008

A leading gay rights activist in Colombia, who also sits on the National Executive of the Democratic Pole opposition political party, has received two death threats from paramilitaries in the past week. Bibiana Andrea Munoz Martinez, who lives in the region of Cauca, is well-known for her high profile read more

JFC President Brendan Barber Message to Colombian Unions

Justice For Colombia News | on: Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Brendan Barber, the President of Justice for Colombia and General Secretary of the British Trades Union Congress (TUC), representing over 6 ˝ million British workers, has sent an end of year message to the CUT trade union federation in Colombia. In it he condemns the continuing abuses against Colombian read more

Thousands Murdered in Southern Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 8 December 2008

A new human rights investigation says that well over 4,000 people have been murdered in the southern Colombian region of Putumayo in the past decade and that at least 3,000 bodies could be in mass graves that have yet to be exhumed. The report blames most of the violence read more

Plan Colombia Devastates Afro-Colombian Communities

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 7 December 2008

Journalist and Colombia-expert Garry Leech recently visited some of the Afro-Colombian communities living on Colombia's remote Pacific coast. His excellent report covers the main difficulties facing the residents of the region and explains why the 'solutions' put forward by the Colombian Government are not popular with locals. read more

Nine Police Killed in Guerrilla Attack in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 6 December 2008

Eight Colombian police officers were killed in an attack by FARC guerrillas yesterday in the Colombian region of Arauca. A ninth died today of injuries received during the attack. According to reports from the region the guerrillas used explosives to attack the police station in the town of read more

Inter-American Human Rights Court to Investigate Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (ICHR) yesterday announced that they would be taking the Colombian Government to court for the murder of leftwing politician Senator Manuel Cepeda in 1994. According to the Commission the Colombian government neglected "to protect the life of Senator Manuel Cepeda" and to "investigate, read more

Union Leaders and MPs Call for Freedom for Colombian Political Prisoners

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 1 December 2008

A letter sent last week to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, calls on his regime to stop imprisoning people for political reasons and to release four named political prisoners. Signed by the leaders of virtually all of Britain's trade unions as well as various Members of Parliament, the letter says read more

Futher Condemnation of UK Military Aid to Colombia

Justice For Colombia News | on: Monday, 1 December 2008

An article in today's Guardian by investigative journalist John Pilger cites Justice for Colombia's new report on British military aid. Pilger reports that UK military assistance includes inviting military officers "implicated in murder" to the UK for courses and explains how 90% of the torture carried out in read more

Mass Detention Follows Threats and Killings in Colombian Region of Santander

News from Colombia | on: Monday, 1 December 2008

Colombian human rights groups have reported that 14 civilians, including trade unionists, a student leader and a woman who had given birth the same day, have been taken away by the security forces in the region of Santander. The detentions follow months of threats against civil society activists as read more